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by the University Publishing Company of New York and Baltimore, and have already attracted wide attention for the freshness of interest with which they invest the subject, and for their natural and philosophical method.
No man was more fuily alive than Commodore Maury to the fact that the agriculture of the South was an unfailing source of renewed prosperity; that like Antaeus (tf we may use a hackneyed figure) it was from the earth that she would gain restoration of her strength. Hence he enthusiastically favored and persistently urged all measures looking to the improvement of agriculture. One of the most important results which he expected to flow from his great plan of constant systematic scientific meteorological observations all over the world, was the immense benefit that would thence accrue to agriculture. At the National Agricultural Congress, held in St. Louis, May 1872, in what we believe was his last public address, he strongly urged the importance of an international conference between the leading agriculturists and meteorologists of all countries, looking to the definite organisation of such a system. He pointed out the approval which it had received from the most eminent men of science in the world, and the benefits which would immediately accrue from it; and while regretting the indifference of the Federal authorities, urged his fellow citizens to use their influence in its favor in their several States. Private interest in question he had none. “The success of the scheme,” he said, “will benefit all of you more than its projector. 1 am under the ban of the nation, and can hold no office in it — neither State nor Federal. The moment the government takes hold of it, my association with it ceases. I can not share in the honor of helping to organise, or of assisting to carry it out. I have no farm, neither do I cultivate a parcel of ground. Therefore I say, though I
I advocate this measure so earnestly, there is no one in the land who is less to be benefited by its success than I.”
In the summer of 1872 he made a tour in the North and West, from which he returned with health very seriously impaired. The best efforts of medicine were unavailing to stay the advance of disease, and it was soon seen that his hours were numbered. He had himself formed this opinion, before it was announced to him by his medical adviser. With the calmness and method which characterised all his acts, he set his temporal affairs in order, and then awaited the close with resignation and Christian faith. In the words of the Lexington Gazette, “He requested that when the physician pronounced him dying, he should be informed of it. After dissolution had begun, he was asked if he was aware of his condition ; he answered he was. He retained his consciousness till within a brief time of his death. As the supreme hour drew near, he turned to his son, Col. R. L. Maury, and asked, in the language of the ruling passion, ‘Do I seem to drag my anchors?' The answer, ‘They are sure and steadfast,' gave him a gratifying assurance. When he had been silent for some time and supposed to be speechless, Colonel Maury approached him and inquired his condition. He responded with marked distinctness and emphasis, ‘All is well.'”
Thus, on February 1st, 1873, his spirit passed into the hands of Him whose glorious works he had spent his life in studying with reverent admiration, and whose wondrous laws he had sought out in the highways of the waters, in the springs of the sea, and in its most secret depths; in the wind that “goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north, and returneth again according to his circuits," in "the balancings of the clouds," and in the ordinances of heaven."
In conformity with his wish, his body was placed, with appropriate ceremonies, in the Lexington Cemetery, in a vault facing the grave of Stonewall Jackson.
We understand that Commodore Maury left two completed works in MS. One, his Physical Geography, which is the concluding book of his Geographical Series, and which received the author's final revisions, will be brought out, we are informed, in the spring, by the publishers of the Series. The other work is an Astronomy for Schools, also in readiness for the press.
ON THE STEPS OF THE BEMA.
STUDIES IN THE ATTIC ORATORS.
BY WAY OF PREFACE.
ANY years ago, when it first became my duty to prepare exer
cises in Greek composition, I turned to the Attic orators as the best models for the grammatical work of my classes. The historian and the philosopher might count on leisurely readers, the orator must speak so as to be understood at once; and this necessity of transparency and directness is a matter of great importance to a teacher of grammar. But even the orator might be tempted to furbish up his great orations, to complicate his periods, to perfect and to spoil the utterances of the bema; and so of all the speeches I preferred those that were less likely to have invited the labor of the file and the unction of the lamp. At first it was hard for the young philologian, in the flush of his enthusiasm, to neglect the great masterpieces of Demosthenes and to plod through the lawsuits of Isaeus; to turn from causes that embodied the political life of Greece to causes that involved only a few drachmae. But here as elsewhere the field that seemed so arid was found to have its green spots: the fountain bubbled up from the dry jaw-bone. Even Isaeus was not all a bore; and from these neglected minor speeches and minor speakers i gained a clearer insight into the wonderful life of antiquity than I
could have done by the most careful dissections of the Philippics or the ambassadorial swindle. And then apart from the themes which of themselves bring the student into contact with the daily life of the people, there is no little delight in the sense of reality, which is so painfully lacking in encyclopædias and manuals with their ticketed stores, and in sketches of ancient manners and customs which only put further off what they undertake to bring before our eyes.
I am free to say that I have never been able to enjoy such books as the Gallus and the Charicles of Becker. The unreality of the whole thing is far more evident than in less conscientiously constructed historical romances. The certainty that at every turn the erudite antiquary is ready to draw chapter and verse on you, keeps you uncomfortably on the alert; and the memory of the scholar is constantly on the strain to recall the original home of this or that piece of the tessellated work. The execution must needs be coarse, the effect incongruous. It is a mixture of Florentine and Roman mosaic - here a chip from a horse-block of a grammarian, here a polished slab from the Attic theatre. The scenery, the dialogue, the plot, are all of the most conventional character, and the merest novice can feel that these lay-figures are no men and women, but tailor's dummies no living, growing trees, but rows of pegs for classical quotations. In all such books you are sure to meet the same extracts, the same jokes, the same scenes.
The fishmonger precedes the trapezite in Wheeler's Life and Travels of Herodotus, just as the fishmonger precedes the trapezite in the Charicles; and the same fragment of Alexis does duty in both. Now this is no way to get an insight into any life, ancient or modern. We who teach languages know that as soon as we can get the pupil out of the bondage of isolated sentences into the freedom of continuous reading and continuous writing, both scholar and master feel an immense relief, and the progress becomes joyous as well as rapid. We all crave the varied play of organic motion. Life, like language, refuses to yield up its secrets to him who cuts it into slabs by means of persistent ratchet-wheel and remorseless circularsaw: excellent boards and irreproachable saw-dust, but no life. Now these so called scenes from antique life insult our understanding as well as our taste. They pretend to be groves of Academe, while in fact they are saw-mills. They are after all nothing but encyclopædias in disguise, and that a very flimsy disguise ; and everybody by a correct instinct hates to be cheated into the acquisition of knowledge, useful or other.
It is true that at the first glance the plan of these studies may seem to coincide with the dictionary method ; but the difference is this, that while it will be necessary for the sake of unity to keep certain points in view, such as swindling, murder, assault and battery, domestic infelicities and the like efflorescences of social life, we shall not exhibit them outside of their true environments, but quietly follow the course of each story, and watch the eruption of our police Vesuvius from our position in Torre del Greco. What harm if we try to make an impression or two on the molten lava with a modern copper?
NUMBER ONE. PASION, OR PERFORMANCES ON THE DODGING TRAPEZE. I don't go to the circus; or (rather I have long since ceased to go to the circus, even under its old-fangled name of hippodrome. Spangled petticoats and stockinets, dancing horses and daring riders, Mazeppas and Boadiceas, •strong men and funny men, clowns and ring-masters, have no charm's for me. Indeed, that particular ginger was never especially hot in my mouth. Since my circus-going days the feats have become wilder and wilder, or, at all events, the names have become grander and Greeker. Acrobat, which was an exotic in my boyhood, is a household word now, and chief among the attractions which I see displayed on the huge posters are
“ Performances on the Flying Trapeze. These performances on the flying trapeze result sometimes in a Homeric descent to Hades, and hence, no doubt, the popularity of these feats; for your groundling delights in the shivers. Somehow this modern trapeze never fails to remind me of the ancient trapeze. Circus and ring are the same word, as any etymologist will tell you; banco and saltimbanco, bank and mountebank, are both of the market-place. Arena and 'Change share their technical terms, from the legitimate sport of bull-baiting and bearbaiting to the unlicensed hunt of the Bengal tiger.
The ancient trapeze was the ancient bank, the trapezite was the banker.
Now, as I said before, I am not writing an encyclopædia, and I am not going into a history of banks and banking. I hope never to be pedant enough to blush for not knowing the meaning of a classical word when I do not know the meaning of its English equivalent ; and as peculiar circumstances have made modern banks and modern banking matters of perfect indifference to me, so I do not see why I should get up an enthusiasm on the score of the details of the trapezitic trade. I merely premise that this trade, like any other, had its great dignitaries and its small fry, from money-changers and pawnbrokers to grand bankers and sublime underwriters. If I were given to digressions, as I am not, I would here take occasion to discourse very learnedly, with the help of the fathers, on the character and functions of the money-changers and dove-sellers of the Temple at Jerusalem, and further enlarge on the intensely mercantile cast of the Greek mind as shown in the odes of Pindar; but I leave these themes to other people who have not so much to do.
The temptation to swindle in this trade, as in all others, was very great, and the allusions to the confidential character of the transactions are frequent and melancholy. The occasional laudations of honest trapezites excite rather than quiet our suspicions. So in a fragment of Isaeus the speaker represents himself as moved to advocate the cause of a certain banker, because once when he was reported as slain in a naval combat, the trapezite had informed his family of an amount which he had deposited at his bank, and turned over every chalkus to his representatives. Certainly the praise of the individual seems to be at the expense of the class; and the famous epigram of Theocritus produces on the mind the effect of a life insur
ance advertisement. Translated into the slang of the day, it would run somehow thus:
“ This Company is always fair,
We'll plank the cash when you peg out.”
I am a made man. I have posted up my books ;
I'm rich if I don't pay to others what I owe. The inference is irresistible that he will not pay if he can help it, and yet the very next instant he pays.
This model trapezite appears in the Curculio or Weevil, and is admirably drawn. The parasite Weevil is not a novel figure in the cancient comedy of manners ; but the trapezite Wolf is not of so frequent occurrence, and the portraiture of him interests us by the blended sneer and swagger, by the droll balance between a sincere desire to cheat and an honest dread of losing credit. In this play we find a lively dramatic representation of one of the common swindles of the time. The parasite Weevil steals a signet-ring from a successful soldier of fortune, and by the help of this voucher gets out of the banker's hands a large sum that had been deposited with him to the soldier's credit. Weevil.
Pray, are you the man
Wolf. I am.
Wolf. To me?
Ay, ay :
Oh! Of course :
He bade me beg you, if you valued his regard, To do without fail what is written in that note.
Wolf. Let's have it ; let's see what is written there.
All right: 'Tis at your service, so I get what I want of you.
Wolf (reads). “The soldier Therapontigonus Platagidorus sends